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A parasomnia is a type of sleep disorder that occurs when sleep is disrupted due to full arousal during REM sleep or a partial arousal during non-REM sleep. There are a number of different kinds of parasomnias that can affect your ability to get a solid night’s sleep; the most common include sleepwalking and talking, nightmares and night terrors, and physical issues that are disruptive to sleep. If one or more is a problem for you, you may find yourself walking through the day like you’re in a haze, barely able to function and constantly tired.

If you believe that parasomnia is a problem for you, a counselor can assist you in finding help. Call now.

*Types of Parasomnias

  • Nightmares
  • Sleepwalking
  • Night terrors
  • Abrupt arousals
  • Confusional arousals
  • Rhythmic movement disorders
  • Sleep talking
  • Nighttime leg cramps
  • Sleep paralysis
  • Bed wetting
  • Teeth grinding
  • Irregular heart rhythms
  • Impaired sleep-related erections
  • Painful sleep-related erections

Nocturnal paroxysmal dystonia (NPD)

Nightmares and Night Terrors

Threats to safety and/or self-esteem are often the theme of nightmares that are disruptive to sleep. You will often wake up abruptly in the middle of REM sleep and be able to recall vivid details of the nightmare. Getting back to sleep is almost impossible and when sleep does come, it often brings a return to the nightmare.

Night terrors are similar to nightmares, but you don’t wake up fully even though it appears that you have. You may appear to be awake for as long as 15 minutes but won’t remember the incident the following day.

Sleepwalking and Sleep Talking

If you appear to others to be awake but are actually asleep while you walk around or talk, then you are experiencing sleepwalking and/or sleep talking – and you’re not getting a good night’s sleep. You won’t remember either action when others tell you about it the next day. Sleepwalking is most common in children between the ages of eight and 12 but it can occur in adults; sleep talking affects all ages. Both disorders may run in families.

Nighttime Physical Discomfort

Nocturnal leg cramps, restless leg syndrome, bruxism (teeth grinding), sleep-related erections, and bedwetting are all physical issues classified as parasomnias because they can disrupt sleep. Some of them keep you awake all night or awaken you from a deep sleep due to the discomfort associated with the physical issue. The treatment for these will vary depending upon the issue and be specific to your needs. For example, a mouth plate may be helpful for those who grind their teeth while stretching and certain vitamins may help those struggling with nocturnal leg cramps.

*Types of Treatments for Parasomnias

  • Medication
  • Exercise
  • Treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders
  • Therapy for trauma
  • Apparatuses that address specific physical ailments

Get Help for Parasomnias

Would you like to learn more about the types of treatment that are possible for parasomnias and other sleep disruption disorders? Depending upon your symptoms, a number of different possibilities may be open to you.

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